Articles & Advice

Going Green in Denver

by Andrea Davis

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Denver Green Job Listings
  • Shop Local, Shop Green Denver
  • Green News Denver
  • Denver Green Events
  • Environmental Organizations in Denver
  • Going Green at Home
  • Denver Green Living
  • Green Home Improvement Projects
  •  

    Introduction

    Denver, Colorado works daily to innovate private and public sectors to keep the environment green and glowing. Governor John Hickenlooper's promise to plant a million trees in the city by 2025 will add more oxygen and increase the urban landscape. Denver International Airport is one of the greenest airports in the United States. Denver also has green taxis that help keep emissions down while increasing public transportation. Startups based in Denver pump out environmental technology that help not only Denver but cities across the United States to be greener. It is a city looking into the future, and anyone who wants to help with that can do their part by reading this guide and using any of these suggestions.

    Denver Green Job Listings

    Since Denver is one of the most environmentally-concerned cities in the United States, there are a lot of job openings in many sectors for green jobs. Whether these jobs are directly related to the environment in careers like ecology and wildlife or indirectly related like law or government, they need people in them to get the work going. As such, there are a wide variety of resources advertising these jobs daily.
    • Colorado Green Jobs Network: Listings in Denver for sectors including agriculture, ecology, geology, sustainability, and wildlife.
    • Green Jobs Hiring: This is a job listings site that includes green job listings for Denver.
    • Green Job Bank: This website lists jobs for cities across the nation in green areas, including Denver.
    • Environmental Jobs Wrap: This website is an environmentally-related jobs search site for cities including Denver.
    • EcoEmploy.com: This website involves has listings for government and law jobs, with similar listings for surrounding states like Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and so on.
    • Veterans Green Jobs: A website for veteran with jobs listings and weekly updates and news on programs and services for veterans across the country, including Colorado.
    • Denver Green Jobs Initiative: This project was started in 2011 as part of an effort to get the unemployed back into the workforce, specifically into environmental or green-specific jobs. The program was closed in 2012 after getting 500 people back into the workforce, but there are still a variety of sources that are available to anyone looking for jobs in Denver focused on the environment. You can also still contact the co-founders of the program through their e-mail addresses with questions as provided on the site.

    Shop Local, Shop Green Denver

    If you are interested in shopping locally or green, then Denver has plenty of places to both meet your needs and promote green businesses. Some of these are local businesses that promote healthy living and buying local, while others are green-specific businesses that are also local to Denver or the Front Range. You will also find websites that are national but have specific pages dedicated to cities like Denver for finding green and local businesses.
    • Grow Local Colorado: A local food growing program to promote a local economy. They create edible gardens across Denver and then harvest those for the hungry. They also have potlucks and other local events that you can join throughout the year.
    • Mile High Business Alliance: This alliance networks together local businesses in Colorado.
    • Colorado Local First: This website, created by the Mile High Business Alliance, lists all their participating businesses for you to look at for your needs or wants.
    • I Heart Denver store: This is another business that has only locally made products from designers and artists in the area, with 70 percent of sales directly supporting their efforts.
    • ReDirect Guide Denver, Boulder and Ft. Collins: This guide lists healthy and sustainable businesses for not only Denver, but also Boulder and Fort Collins. You can find businesses for sectors including food and drink, apparel, recreation, education and so on.
    • Certifiably Green Denver: Supported by the Department of Environmental Health, this organization helps businesses to become green. If you are interested as a business owner, then contact the department, who will send advisors at no cost to start helping.
    • Elemental Living: This is a green furniture store whose products are both reasonably priced and sustainable, so that your home looks nice while not impacting the environment.
    • Live Green House Clean: This house cleaning service uses green cleaning products to eliminate all germs in your home without any kind of negative impact on the environment for good prices.
    • Shop Local: You can use this national website for finding local businesses across the United States, including Denver.
    • National Green Pages: This is another website for finding national green businesses, including ones located in Denver.

    Green News Denver

    To keep up with the green news in Denver, plenty of resources have set aside special sections so you do not have to skim the local newspaper websites for headlines. However, there are also national sources with city-specific webpages that pull all the green news together for you to read without searching each news site one at a time.
    • Green Business News: A section of the Denver Post set aside for any and all updates on businesses in the green industry of Denver and the surrounding area. This includes updates for Westminster, Vail, Craig City and other cities outside of the metro, as well as some updates outside of the state that may effect it.
    • Denver Green News: This is another Twitter-based system that the Denver Post uses to get out this news.
    • Local Politics: A section of the Denver Post which covers all political topics, including those related to green issues and legislation in the city.
    • Project Green: Hosted on CBS Denver, these news stories involve green news segments on everything from food to home to business. If you are looking for ways to decrease your environmental waste at home or in daily life around the city, CBS Denver has just about any segment you could watch on the green-related topics. "Project Green" is also a tag, so if you land on the CBS Denver main page, you can always use the tag to search for these segments.
    • Alltop: This is a national website for news which pulls information from all of the local news sources in Denver, including the local ABC affiliate, the Denver Post, CBS, NBC, and other local news beats. You can get information on all green topics in the area, including food, recreation, real estate, home and so forth. If there are no headlines on green or environmental news, you can always search the Denver version of Alltop for the most recent green news.

    Denver Green Events

    Throughout the year, Denver's green community holds various events to promote sustainability and environmental awareness. These events are posted on various websites by organizations and groups, available for anyone interested in joining the cause. Listed below are just some of the top organizations that host events in Denver throughout the year.
    • Greenprint Denver: Created by the mayor, this organization intends to build up the city's sustainability by taking up different city objectives that can be "tracked, measured, refined and reported," according to their About page. As such, they hold various events throughout the year to help get more people throughout Denver involved. These events are open to the public and cover everything from recycling to speaker series on environmentalism and ecology. You can also follow them on their Twitter page.
    • Center for Sustainability: At the University of Denver, this center also holds public events to keep the Denver community aware of environmental issues and increase eco-awareness in the city.
    • Green Entrepreneurs : These groups meet to discuss and network on green issues that you can always join in on. They hold events and gatherings on a regular or semi-regular basis. Contact the group for more information.
    • Alliance for Sustainable Colorado: The alliance hosts hundreds of sustainable events across the state of Colorado every year, including in Denver. Their goal is to increase sustainability in the state through collaboration, which is why these events target people from various backgrounds towards the singular goal of environmental research and design. No matter your background, you should consider getting involved and attending an event that suits your needs.
    • Denver Post calendar: The Denver Post's calendar includes regular green and environmental event listings throughout the year.

    Environmental Organizations in Denver

    In addition to the various organizations who host events, own businesses and promote jobs in Denver, there are even more environmental organizations based in the city.
    • Denver.com: This site lists all of the environmental organizations based in the city, which includes trusts and corporations.
    • Colorado Environmental Organizations: This list by UC Denver includes coalitions, programs, communities and institutes dedicated to sustainability in the state. The group also includes a list of the top ten green groups: environmental nonprofit organizations that work to defend the environment and wildlife therein.
    • Colorado Energy: This is a list of organizations, both profit and nonprofit, that work to benefit the energy work being done in the state of Colorado. All of these groups work to increase and utilize solar, renewable or recyclable utilities and energy throughout the state for the betterment of the environment.
    • ASC Sustainable Tenants: The Alliance has sustainable tenants who work to improve sustainability in every sector of society in Colorado.
    • Startup Colorado: This list includes the many organizations within the startup community working to create new technology more quickly and save the environment with their revolutionary work.
    • Department of Environmental Sustainability: The department works to "meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs," as described on its home page. It works every day to support Greenprint Denver, along with pressing forward on other initiatives that help the city increase its sustainable living and decrease all forms of harmful emissions.

    Going Green at Home

    Want to make your home more sustainable? If you are already shopping green to furnish your home and eating locally grown food, then you are taking great steps. There is more you can do, though, to make your home green. The city outlines steps you can take, and there are businesses directly related to home sustainability that you can call to help.
    • Denver Composting: The city of Denver maintains a kind of hyper-awareness about composting throughout the year, with leaf composting in the fall, grass trimmings and clippings getting composted throughout the year, and other kinds of composting either seasonally or every day.
    • Compost Collection Pilot Program: Where the city started a pilot composting program and had residents compost their food, soiled paper, yard debris and other compostable items that are often thrown away in landfills. When they saw the success of the pilot program, they continued it as a fee-based service. Now Denver residents pay about $30 per quarter or $107 per year if they pay upfront for the whole year to get their items composted and help the environment.
    • Drop-off Recycling Center Locator: A way for Denver residents to find the closest drop-off center to their home.
    Solar energy panel installlers in & around Denver: Note: Installing these solar panels might be expensive, but the federal government often offers homeowners tax credits up to 30 percent of the total cost of the panels. Colorado also offers incentives to homeowners that can cover up to 65 percent of the initial system costs, which means that what you will pay for the solar panels will be a lot less than what you could pay for electricity bills in the long run.

    Denver Green Living

    For those not yet ready to be homeowners, there are complexes in Denver that have sustainable designs in their apartments, utilities and urban design. These include:
    • Boutique Apartments: This company has studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom complexes across Denver that are renovated to be eco-friendly.
    • Solera Living: Located in downtown Denver, this complex has sustainable appliances and utilities for owners to enjoy.
    • Alton Green Apartments: These apartments are located near Cherry Creek and minutes from the Denver Tech Center, with plenty of energy-saving appliances.
    • Aria Denver Townhomes: This complex is located near the Highlands and features a design specifically mapped out by architects focused on green living.
    • Green Door Living: This real estate site lists homes that are green and eco-friendly for homeowners looking to save the environment.
    • Live Urban Denver: This real estate site lists urban communities in Denver that are green, so people who want to live close to central Denver won't have to compromise on green values.
    • 2020 Lawrence: This multifamily complex features LEED-gold certification and a breathtaking view of the Rockies.
    • RiverClay Condominiums: These condos are LEED-silver certification and closely located to Jefferson Park.
    • Acoma Luxury Apartment Homes: These luxury apartments are minutes from downtown Denver and still promote green living for those who might bike or need the extra green in their lives.

    Green Home Improvement Projects

    To get your home, townhouse or condominium even more environmentally sound and sustainable, consider taking up some green home improvement projects. Some of them might be small-scale, while others require service professionals to come out for the installation. Whatever the project, your home will increase its efficiency, save you money on utility bills and help the environment all at the same time.